So you’ve decided to visit Strumble Head lighthouse. And why wouldn’t you? Strumble Head is a great place anyway, but the lighthouse is one of the finest examples we know of.
Just 45 minutes away from us we’ve been there quite a few times and have certainly learnt some things along the way. So here are our tips for planning a visit to Strumble Head lighthouse.
It’s all about the timing! In our opinion the 2 absolute best times to visit are:
- First thing in the morning, or;
- The hour before sunset
Not necessarily in that order. They both have their virtues
In the morning the sun will be behind you and right on the side of the lighthouse which faces you. Which means you won’t be looking into or taking photographs into the sun and the contrast of the bright white paint against the deeper blues in the background will be at it’s most vivid.
Visiting during the hour before sunset means you’ll be there for golden hour. While the sun is behind the lighthouse and into your lens, it will still make for some spectacular shots and watching the sunset here is pretty incredible. You’ll also be there for blue hour if you chose to stay past sunset, and if you wait until dark, you’ll get the full effect of why the lighthouse was built.
We have been once or twice in the middle of the day and, if this is the only time that fits your schedule, you’ll still enjoy it. In our experience though the car parks and road will be busier. Which means having to drive backwards quite a lot. And pulling in even more! Talking of driving…
For the most part this road can only take one vehicle and you never know what’s around the corner. This is also farming country and you don’t want to find yourself unable to stop when faced with a huge combine harvester. Or any other vehicle for that matter. So, slow down, and enjoy the ride. That way you won’t miss any of the signs. Unlike us!
Always keep an eye out for those laybys or passing places so that you don’t find yourself reversing too far! Its only 4.6 miles from Goodwick to Strumble Head but it is very slow going.
You’ll see the lighthouse from a distance and it’ll start to look as if your going away from it. Keep going. Then you’ll come to what, at first glance looks like a private road or cul de sac. It’s not. Keep going.
As you get closer, you’ll be tempted to stop to take a photo. Don’t. You’ll be blocking traffic and the view just gets better. Keep going.
The view out to sea as you round the final bend is breath-taking. If you time it right, you may even see the Ferry coming in from, or going out to Rosslare from Fishguard. This map may help.
The first bit of parking you come to is very limited and there may well be people already here. If you’re not there before 11.30am even on a weekday you’ll be lucky to get a space here. If you can, great, you can watch the sunset from the comfort of your car if you choose. We’d still say to get out and walk over to the lighthouse anyway. But if you can’t park here, don’t worry, stay on the road and you’ll come to a larger parking ground overlooking the bay which is actually closer to the lighthouse.
For bird watchers and animal enthusiasts there’s also an old coast guard lookout near the lighthouse. It’s easily accessible and lots of migrating seabirds which follow the coast of Britain can be seen here. It is also a great place to see seals, dolphins and porpoise. In fact on this very visit we saw a couple of seals in the bay.
The lighthouse stands on Ynys Meicel, Welsh for St. Michael’s Island, and is a Grade II listed building. It was first lit in January 1908 helping sea-farers when coming into Fishguard Harbour. Over the years it’s been updated but was fully electrified in 1965 and automated in 1980. An electric fog-signal replaced the old explosive signal charge system in 1969 and it’s operated from Trinity House at Harwich.
Facilities There are no facilities here at all so be prepared. The nearest conveniences, shops and fuel are in Goodwick, around 4.6 miles away.
How to get there
- From the East take the M4/A40 West and then the A487 to Goodwick. From the North take the A487 to Fishguard and then to Goodwick, heading toward the Ferry terminal.
- Pass the Ferry terminal roundabout and continue up the small hill.
- Where the wall faces you at the top of the small hill take a left onto Goodwick Hill.
- Stay on this road and bear left at Llanwanda.
- Keep on this road and take the third turning right (sign posted to Strumble Head).
- Keep on this road, bearing right at two small junctions, and arrive at Strumble Head.
Where to stay
There are lots of places to stay in and around Goodwick and Fishguard. Mostly B&Bs, guesthouses or self contained cottages. We use booking.com to find the best deals on places to stay. Wolfscastle Country Hotel is somewhere we know well and is approximately 6 miles from Fishguard.
We’ll be creating lots more posts about Pembrokeshire over the coming weeks and months so check back to see what’s new.
If you are visiting these places now or in the near future please be aware that social distancing rules still apply in Wales. Please keep yourselves and others safe.
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